My birthday is next week!

The underwhelming age of 31…it’s like, why bother with recognizing it? But my mom says we’re still having a party and my brother is making me orange chicken (it’s awesome, I don’t know what he puts in it…besides oranges…or maybe there aren’t any oranges, I don’t know…) and so I figured, why not update everyone on my progress becoming an even more grown-up adult?

It’s Saturday night, and you’re reading this with Netflix on and a cup of cocoa in your hand (I hope, cuz it’s Texas cold here, which means it’s like 40 and I’m wearing shorts in a drafty living room), so let’s share a bedtime story about goals! Just kidding. I don’t have much to celebrate as far as goals, but let’s move right along.

1. Write something for people to read.

I’m sorry to say that readership is somewhat down the last few weeks. I get it, reading about couponing is boring, and the picture for Lord, Give Us Sweaters looks like the sweater is now in charge, and I get it if that freaked you out a little. Honestly, I can only write about my own life, because I have an agreement with myself that I won’t sue myself for libel, so when I’m boring, the blog gets bored. Sorry about that.

But thank you to all my faithful readers—y’all are so kind and encouraging, and if any of this is making you feel better about your un-set goals or unachieved goals or lack of couponing skills or love of gray sweaters, I’m glad.

I don’t necessarily want to be a lifestyle expert, but…how do you know once you are one? Does somebody just…tell you that you are? Or do you have to come to that conclusion yourself? Is there a form you fill out? Do you have to register as a lifestyle guru? Are we all lifestyle experts, or do we just like to talk about ourselves? Anyway, moving on…

2. Save a substantial amount of money.

Couponing is fun, and I’m saving money, but it takes hours. Seriously, all the websites and the printing and clipping and scanning receipts…

Also, if you know me in real life and you don’t have the Shopkick App, text me in real life and I’ll tell you about it. It’s saved a lot of money. They’re not paying me to say this, but it’s true.

3. Get stains out of the rug.

Pass. Although I did get this one stain out of the couch, but I won’t tell you how. It doesn’t matter.

4. Speak Spanish passably well.

I’ve kinda let this one slide, to be honest, although I’ve stopped to read roadsigns and billboards in Spanish and I could always tell what they were saying.

5. Bake things that start out as dough.

It’s almost Christmas cookie season, so this one is more urgent, but I haven’t done it.

The last thing I baked was this great cinnamon crumb cake, but then I had a virus and Thomas decided that there was something in it that made him sick, since he’d eaten the rest of the cake by himself. Seems legit.

6. Cook a steak.


7. Get through a long, boring, classic book so I understand cultural references.

I read The Picture of Dorian Gray—it was shorter than I expected. I finished it in like two afternoons. I’ll be honest, the ending did catch me by surprise. Which is a little embarrassing.

I just re-read A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. It’s rough, but so good and smart and understanding.

I also read God in the Dock and The Problem of Pain, both of which I’d recommend highly. Lewis was a genius the way I’d like to be a genius—someone who can go straight to the heart of any question and answer it without fear and without affectation.

8. Sit through a long, famous, classic movie so I understand references and jokes.

On Halloween I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I’ll confess that I didn’t really get it. I just don’t get Tim Burton.

(Great, now he’s going to read this and make a movie about me, only I’m going to be some kind of spider person and everything will be black and white and stop-motion and Helena Bonham-Carter will play everyone. Sigh. I guess that’s part of being a lifestyle expert, you get criticized a lot and you have to be ok with people making…stop motion movies about you…where was this going?)

9. Learn how football works.


10. Learn how finance works. Like, even a LITTLE.

I’ve learned that just because you get a dollar rebate back on something doesn’t mean you should buy it. Is that finance?

11. Expand my food horizons.

Shopkick has given me points every time I’ve bought Imagine broth, so I’m gonna keep buying it and making soup. It’s really good, but I don’t think that’s expanding my horizons.

12. Learn to apply eyeliner.

Working on it.

13. Travel. Internationally. Without freaking out.

It’s almost time for our annual holiday trip up north, so we’ll see if Texas has seceded by the time we come home. There’s always that chance.

14. Learn how to use a compass. Just in case.

No. I have not. I have not learned to use a compass just in case.

But I haven’t gotten lost anywhere in a while, so…

15. Drive on the highway. Without freaking out.

Done and done. A couple of times, anyway. I was proud of myself.

16. …really, learn ANYTHING about cars.

I’ve learned that my love for my car, Josh, may be holding me back from getting a new one. This is why you shouldn’t name cars and imagine them having voices.

17. Learn how the U.S. government works.

The midterm elections taught me that the U.S. government gets really upset about certain things every couple of years, and then those things magically fix themselves. So that’s good.

I think I’m partially quoting someone here but I don’t recall…

18. Keep a plant alive. Preferably an edible one.

I bought day-old bread from the bargain cart at Wal-Mart for 71 cents and 24 hours later it had become a 4th grade science experiment. Does that count?

19. Fix minor problems with clothes (so…sewing, I guess).

I sewed a hole up in my favorite jeans! Yay me!

However, I may need to replace my favorite panda slippers (they’re slippers with panda faces on them, they’re not MADE of pandas, I don’t think), because cleaning them with a magic eraser is no longer working.

20. Fix ANY broken thing…just fix something.

The string fell out of the tennis ball at one of my stations in school, but I fixed it.

If you don’t know me in real life and have never seen the motor lab, this doesn’t make sense, but I was proud of myself. If I hadn’t fixed it, the entire second half of the day would have been messed up. I used a pencil, in case you’re wondering how I did it. I’m just glad it worked.


Anyways, another heartfelt thank you to all my friends and readers who take the time to click on these links. I promise I think about you every time I write this, and when you mention that you’ve read the blog, it makes me smile, inside and out. Is that corny? I don’t care. Thanks for being so nice and understanding and encouraging through these last few months of ramblings. And thanks in advance for promoting me to the ranks of Lifestyle Expert. I can’t wait to have my picture taken in front of a roaring fire while holding a coffee cup.

thanks, team 🙂

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